Wilson participates in writing residency Norma Wilson, professor of English at The University of South Dakota, has recently returned from a month-long writing residency during July in Spain. Fundacion Valparaiso, located near Mojacar, offers residencies to 80 artists each year. Wilson was offered the residency after submitting samples of her poetry.
Residents receive free room, board and laundry services and are housed in a large adobe-style complex located near the foot
of Mojacar La Vieja, a mountain that was home to a series of
cultures � Agaric, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Visigoth and Moorish. On an adjacent mountain is the city of Mojacar, which has been inhabited, beginning with the Moors, since the end of the 13th Century.
Wilson said, "It was a fascinating time to be at Mojacar. The history of that place coincides in so many ways with the history of the Americas. In 1488, the Jews and Moors were expelled from the entire region of Andalucia by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, who claimed their region in the name of Christianity. This was happening immediately before Columbus arrived in the West Indies and began exploiting native labor and resources and claiming that territory for Spain.
"Still today, there are land disputes between Spain and Morocco. I found this history and the beautiful landscape fertile ground for my poetry and have written the first draft of what I hope will become a book of poems from Mojacar," she said.
Wilson was one of three artists from the United States in residency at Valparaiso during July. There were also three artists from Spain, one from the Philippines and one from Venezuela.